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Kevin Durant suffered shoulder injury on this play vs the Spurs (Video)

Kevin Durant is sitting out Friday night’s Oklahoma City Thunder game against the Boston Celtics to rest his shoulder. The announcement from OKC coach Scott Brooks surprised many people because few realized the team’s star player was even bothered by a shoulder injury. Heck, KD did his best to hide it. But if you watched the Thunder’s game with the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, you saw that he was hurt worse than he let on.

Midway through the third quarter against the Spurs, Durant drove to the basket and was met by Tim Duncan. Duncan appeared to get a clean block, but Cory Joseph was called for a foul on the play for fouling KD from the side. Durant went down to the ground and was grabbing his right shoulder in pain, but he did not leave the game.

Kevin Durant shoulder

KD made both his free throws and the team’s next two baskets. He played the rest of the quarter and did not even sit out until the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Durant showed few signs of the shoulder injury bothering him, but that was the type of collision where players can suffer ligament damage. His shoulder really was unintentionally yanked down hard by Duncan.

Friday will mark the first time in Thunder history that Durant or Russell Westbrook do not play in a game for the team. Brooks told the media that Durant is not playing because of a medical decision.

Kevin Durant prefers ‘KD’ nickname to ‘Slim Reaper’

Kevin Durant Slim Reaper

Kevin Durant has been a superstar in the NBA for years, so fans have always felt that he was deserving of a great nickname. Many were kicked around for years, and there was a conscious effort to bestow upon him a proper name that would represent him well and stick. The name that was settled upon was “Durantula,” but I never really liked it and it seems like Durant didn’t exactly care for it. But now we have another name that’s been catching on the past few days, and it looks like we have found “the one.”

Lately, people have been calling Durant the “Slim Reaper,” and I love it. A Reddit user is being credited with giving him the name. In fact, eight months ago, Reddit user “Beardfunk” called Durant “Slim Reaper” in a thread for an Oklahoma City Thunder-Memphis Grizzlies game. The name has picked up steam over the past few days since Durant has just been on fire, and Reddit is widely being credited as the source. Whatever the case, I’m all aboard. I love how it’s a play on words and describes Durant’s physique and killer ability/mentality in just two words. It’s fantastic. But is it too morbid?

Durant hosted a Twitter Q&A on Thursday and was asked for his thoughts on “Slip Reaper” as a nickname. He answered that he likes “KD” better.

Well, the good news is it’s not up to Durant to tell us whether he likes it or not. It’s up to the fans to decide whether we like it enough. If the fans and media decide that we like the name and start using it, Durant won’t have a choice. That’s just how nicknames go; you can’t choose your own nickname. That’s not something you can dictate. If it were, do you think Doug Martin would have picked “Muscle Hamster”? Of course not.

Sorry, KD, but Slim Reaper it is.

H/T Complex
Photo by Pixel via Deadspin

Kevin Durant scores career-high 54 points on just 28 shots

You know how LeBron James said he was jealous of the amount of shots Kevin Durant takes? Maybe he should really be jealous of how many shots Durant makes.

Durant went for a career-high 54 points on Friday night in a 127-121 win over the Golden State Warriors. He made 19 shots on 28 attempts including 5-of-9 from 3-point range. He also was 11-of-13 from the free throw line.

Durant was just superb throughout the game. He made shots in isolation, on catch-and-shoots, and when he was coming off screens. Most of the damage he did from the right side of the court, where he hardly missed a shot. Here was his shot chart via NBA.com:

Kevin Durant 54 points

Durant’s 54-point game is the high mark for the NBA this season. He surpassed the previous mark of 48, which he set twice (Jan. 4 and Jan. 7). Durant’s previous career high was 52 points. This was his third career 50-point game. The Thunder are 2-1 in his big games, which happen to coincide with running mate Russell Westbrook being out with an injury.

Durant’s huge game led to some great tweets, none better than the one sent by teammate Nick Collison:

Russell Westbrook sent a good one too:

And the Warriors had to send their recognition:

Stats via Point Forward Pro

Kevin Durant: Media blew up LeBron James ‘jealous’ comments for no reason

Kevin Durant LeBron James

Kevin Durant doesn’t think much of LeBron James’ recent comments that he’s jealous of the amount of field goals KD attempts.

When asked on Thursday about LeBron’s comments, Durant pretended like he hadn’t heard what James said before admitting it was unavoidable because it was everywhere.

“Ya’ll blowing that out of proportion, man. I mean, I’m pretty sure, matter of fact, I’m 100 percent sure LeBron can do whatever he wants,” Durant said via The Oklahoman.

That’s true. Even though LeBron said he was jealous of the amount of shots Durant was taking, it’s not like LeBron can’t take those shots; James chooses not to because he’s made it a goal to be efficient, which is a good reason why his field goal percentage is higher than ever.

“There’s probably a handful of times I shot 30 times,” Durant said. “I’m sure he’s shot more 30-shot games than I have over his career. But I guess the guy is just trying to challenge himself. I don’t know. But you guys are blowing that up for no reason.”

If Durant is going to be mad at anyone, it should be LeBron for mentioning him, not the media for reacting accordingly to a surprising comment. I mean LeBron James has a great basketball game and seems to have everything going for him. That’s why it’s surprising to hear him say he’s jealous of anyone in a basketball context. When you’ve been blessed with the gifts LeBron has, how can you possibly be jealous of someone else?

As for Durant’s field goals, they’ve been up recently since Russell Westbrook got hurt. Despite being a tremendous player and gifted shooter, Durant doesn’t even gun the way many others do.

I wouldn’t think much of LeBron’s comments if I were Durant. It’s not like we’re talking about Kobe or Rudy Gay or JR Smith in terms of throwing up shots here.

LeBron James: I’m jealous of how many shots Kevin Durant takes

lebron-james-kevin-durantLeBron James has never really been known for taking a ton of shots from the field. Considering he is one of the best scorers in NBA history, it is pretty remarkable how much LeBron shares the ball. He is averaging 26.0 points per game this season, which is tied for second in the NBA. He has done that by taking just 16.1 shots per game — the 18th most in the league.

Simply put, LeBron is efficient. His 59.1% shooting from the field this season is a career high. Kevin Durant, on the other hand, shoots a ton. He averages 19.4 shots per game and is shooting 49% from the field. Apparently LeBron envies that style of play.

“I get jealous sometimes when I look over at KD and he’s like 16-for-32 (from the field) and then 14-for-34. … Man,” James told ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh earlier this week. “I’m not much of a forced-shot guy. But there are games where I have it going, and then at the end of the game, I’m like, damn, I shot just 12-for-16? Why don’t I get up at least six or seven more? I definitely notice it.”

What’s ironic is that Durant recently criticized himself for “flat out shooting too much” and not getting his teammates involved. The Oklahoma City Thunder star tied a career high with 34 shot attempts in a loss to the Utah Jazz last week. Still, LeBron praised Durant’s courage.

“First of all, you have to have an unbelievable mindset to get up 30 shots,” James said. “I always think about it, though. If I get up high-20s, 30 shots a game, what could I do today, with the way I’m playing?”

LeBron has to keep guys like Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh involved, whereas the Thunder’s other big scorer, Russell Westbrook, has appeared in just 25 games this season because of various injuries. What works for one team doesn’t necessarily work for another, and Miami and Oklahoma City have almost identical records. For the most part, both LeBron and KD should just keep doing what they’re doing.

Kevin Durant and girlfriend/fiancee Monica Wright supposedly taking a break

Kevin Durant Monica Wright

Kevin Durant and his girlfriend/fiancee Monica Wright are supposedly taking a break in their relationship.

Durant and Wright, a WNBA player for the Minnesota Lynx, got engaged in July. Wright was playing for a Korean basketball team briefly, but she left the team last month. The reason for her departure has been debated, but Media Take Out says she left because her father had a health scare. In the same report, Media Take Out says Durant and Wright are on a break, and they cite photos of Wright not wearing her engagement ring, and some of the social media messages she’s been posting, as their evidence.

Here’s a photo Wright posted on Dec. 22 that appears to show her ring is not on her ring finger:

[Read more...]

Jay-Z and Beyonce sit in Kevin Durant’s courtside seats

Jay-Z Beyonce basketballKevin Durant’s got friends and business partners in high places.

There was a buzz going around on Thursday that Jay-Z and Beyonce would be in attendance for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s nationally-televised game against the Los Angeles Clippers. That turned out to be accurate.

Royce Young of DailyThunder.com added another detail to the story — the power couple were sitting in KD’s courtside seats — and he supplied the photo:

Durant in June joined Jay-Z’s Roc Nation sports agency and became the rapper’s most high-profile client. There haven’t been many business moves since Jay-Z’s repped Durant that we know of, aside from KD’s Gatorade deal expiring. But we do know that the Thunder star has a lot of pull since he has HOV and Beyonce coming to his games.